Put your finger to the wind and you might notice a subtle shift in the weather. Feel it? In this economy, there is a whiff of desperation in the air. Put your ear to the ground and you might just hear a new mantra. It sounds like this:
“Yes.” – “Certainly.” – “No problem.” – “Absolutely.” – “Whatever you want.”
The “Yes Man” Syndrome
When times get tough, the not-so-tough start saying “yes”. This is what one can call the “Yes Man Syndrome”, and it has afflicted many economic sectors with a vengeance. This syndrome is also known by the acronym OPUP (pronounced Oh, Poop), which stands for Over Promising and Under Performing.
Voiceover actors infected with “OPUP” or “Yes Man Syndrome” are easily recognizable by the fact that they don’t consider their own value they bring to a project and agree to almost anything the potential client asks – even if it is not in the client’s best interest.
The reasons are as many as the individuals involved. Perhaps the voice actor is extremely new to the business, has never run his/her own business before, or work is slow and they’re scared. They are eager to price a job so low, just to join or sustain membership the club that call themselves “professional voice actors”. Or, maybe it’s the client that believes it doesn’t matter and just wants to get the cheapest rate possible. Wanting anything of value cheap, fast and of high quality just doesn’t happen. In the end both parties get what they’ve bargained for. The fast fix mind-set can create the “band-aid effect” ; an unsatisfactory result fostering longer-term implications. Not very fun or fulfilling for anyone involved in the deal.
“Yes Man”- NOT!
While we would all LOVE to say “yes” to everything and mean it, I believe that approach is neither practical or in keeping with the commitment to be an advocate for the best interests of the clients and their business images they project to the world. I would also be remiss not mentioning the respect I have for the interests of the many talented and skilled voice actors who have invested their lives in their craft.
The Professional Approach
Our approach is one of professional evaluation and clear communication with the client so that we can better understand their needs. We support an open and informative dialog so that the client will know what is needed and appropriate for the job as well as convey the value that’s being brought to the table. Self- education of and taking the time in understanding what resonates with the client is key. And you know what? Sometimes, you may just need to walk away, and not say, “yes”.
A voiceover project may be built with who you are that comes out in your voice, past experiences (in and out of the booth) , your critical skills, a script, training and education, studio gear and a microphone .
A healthy, professional and fruitful working relationship is built with honesty, trust and integrity. Time and experience have proven that if I treat my clients right-which may mean occasionally saying “no” they will be ecstatic with not only the stunning results we achieve together, but with the fabulous experience and journey that we took to reach them.
You just might create a loyal and valuable customer for life.